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Sinn Féin slam carers ‘snub’

25 March, 2009 - by Maeve McLaughlin

Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has slammed a British Government ‘snub’ to young carers here.

“The Committee of the First and Deputy First Minister will this week discuss a response from the British Minister for the Disabled Jonathon Shaw,” she said.

“This follows a submission which the committee received from a number of local young people who - despite being full-time carers – are not entitled to the Carers Allowance.

“Minister Shaw admitted that there is a need for reform within the carers benefits system which he stated does not meet the needs of the people.

“Despite this admission, he insisted that they would not be addressing this issue as part of the Welfare Reform Bill which is currently going through Westminster. Instead, he would only talk vaguely about long-term reform.

“That simply isn’t good enough. If the Minister recognises that change is needed then the Welfare Reform Bill is the ideal vehicle to achieve it.

“Instead, he has delivered a calculated snub to those inspirational young people who are providing such an essential service.

“This is just another example of how British Ministers – who are neither elected nor accountable to the Irish people – are not fit to take responsibility for the well-being of our people.

“The sooner these - and all other responsibilities of government - are transferred into the hands of locally-elected and locally accountable Ministers will be begin to make a real difference to our people.”

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